Sharing Heart Health Recipes of Nutritional Healing
The following heart health recipes of whole foods and vitamin supplements was developed with the assistance of my Integrative doctor, acupuncturist, Meriter Hospital and me.
l. garlic—(fresh whole clove) daily.
3. lots of organic/natural whole food vegetables and preferably locally grown, whenever possible.
4. vegetarian diet.
5. use organic soy—not GMO(genetically modified soy), soy nuts.
6. farm fresh eggs, with true free range grass/seed fed chickens.
7. olive oil daily.
8. dark berries/hawthorn berries or any dark colored berry daily.
9. cinnamon and honey added to my whole grain oatmeal every morning.
10. add ground flax seed, one tablespoon daily.
11. walnuts, almonds, hickory nuts for omega 3 fatty acids.
12. lots of green tea.
13. one small square of dark chocolate, >70% cocoa, 4-6 times per week.
14. red wine, one small glass most days of the week.
Here is the list of my vitamin (nutritional) supplements:
a. Tahitian Noni Juice. A powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory supplement. As we get older our immune system can use additional support with a good wholesome supplement.
A reminder to always keep your body well hydrated. Adequate water consumption will help you to feel less tired and have more energy. (Please see my page on 'Hydration')
b. Vitamin D3. 2000-3000 I.U. per day. I use the Sunshine Mist spray from drmercola.com.
c. 2000-3000 mgm. of EPA and DHA in total from fish oil. These are the most potent forms of omega 3 fatty acids.
d. Policosanol 10 mgm. twice/day. This is plant based and used to assist my body in regulating cholesterol.
e. Hoa blend vitamins and calcium supplements from Tahitian Noni International.
Antioxidant & Anti-Inflammatory?
The words anti-inflammatory and antioxidant are used regularly throughout. I am including an explanation of what these terms mean for heart health.
Antioxidants absorb free radicals. As we get older, and I refer to the phrase, “Women over 40”, but this applies to all of us, that we have more free harmful radicals floating around.
Antioxidants stimulate the liver to produce enzymes to break down the antioxidants and other compounds, including whatever toxins are floating around.
Antioxidants detoxify dangerous chemicals including carcinogens. Toxins accumulate in our bodies from chemicals in and on foods as well as from toxins in the environment.
Dr. Andrew Weil explains anti-inflammatory with reference to diet, as well. This particular diet gives a balance of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
Too often we eat too much omega 6’s. This triggers certain hormones to act to promote inflammation in our arterial walls. These omega 6's are in oil rich seeds used in most snack foods and fast foods.
Anti-inflammatory foods include the omega 3 fatty acids. These are in oily fish, walnuts, and flax seeds.
According to Dr. Weil, we can moderate the inflammatory process in our bodies. He advises, “Eating less bread, white potatoes, crackers, chips, pastries, sweetened drinks, less refined and processed food, avoid fast foods, and high fructose corn syrup.
Eat more whole grains, beans, sweet potatoes, winter squashes and other vegetables and fruits like berries, cherries, apples, and pears. Eat more vegetable protein (soy foods, beans, lentils), whole grains, seeds, and nuts.
Eliminate margarine, vegetable shortening, and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. These encourage inflammation.
Dr. Weil also advises, “Eat plenty of soluble fiber. This has a powerful cholesterol-lowering effect. The best sources are beans, lentils, apples, citrus fruits, oats, barley, peas, carrots, and freshly ground flax seed.”
In listing what specific ingredients in foods make them so good the words polyphenols and flavonols are used.
These are antioxidants present in every plant family. They have powerful anti-cancer elements, and offer protection against coronary heart disease.
Dr. Weil explains, polyphenols act to protect the essential fatty acids in olive oil from oxidation, for example.
Red and purple pigment found in berries, cherries, red grapes, pomegranate, some beans, and grains are anti-oxidant polyphenols.
Carotenoids, the yellow pigment found in carrots, pumpkins, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, cantaloupe, mango, peaches, and dark leafy greens are antioxidants or polyphenols.
Heart Health Recipes
The following is a list of my heart health recipes of whole foods and their benefits for nutritional healing:
l. onions—provide vitamin C (also an antioxidant), A & K. Onions may help to lower high blood sugar. The quercetin found in onions, may help to lower heart attack risk.
2. tomatoes—provide vitamin K or potassium. Lycopene in tomatoes may help to keep LDL of cholesterol from oxidizing. May also act as a natural blood thinner.
3. papayas—loaded with vitamin C, contain vitamin E and beta carotene, and folate (a B vitamin). These are all antioxidants and may prevent LDL cholesterol from becoming oxidized. Papayas are loaded with fiber. Folate counteracts an amino acid homocysteine which can harm blood vessel walls.
4. olive oil—a monounsaturated fat lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, fights diabetes, and helps with weight loss. Olive oil fat elevates levels of HDL cholesterol.
Olive oil is full of polyphenols. Some studies have shown that olive oil inhibited LDL oxidation and prevented formation of blood clots.
Extra virgin oil offers the most antioxidant polyphenols. When used in cooking tomatoes it helps the absorption of the lycopene from tomatoes.
5. oatmeal—has manganese, selenium, good fiber, vitamin B (thiamine). Oatmeal, a soluble fiber, lowers LDL and total cholesterol. Selenium helps with the antioxidant defense system and reduces oxidation.
6. raisins—a good source of iron.
7. garlic—has manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C and is a helpful natural blood thinner. Garlic helps to keep platelets from clumping and forming clots. Garlic helps to regulate homocysteine (a toxic amino acid).
8. carrots—have vitamin A, K, C and fiber. They assist the LDL of cholesterol from being attacked by free radicals and therefore avoid plaque build-up.
9. romaine lettuce & spinach—high in folate (a B vitamin). Both have high anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
10. blueberries—great antioxidant.
11. pomegranate—helps to stop oxidation of LDL.
12. sweet potatoes—are high in vitamins A, C, and B6. Is also high in fiber. Helps to build our immune system and helps break down cholesterol.
13. Omega 3—EPA and DHA fatty acids. Fights the inflammation process. I take this as a liquid supplement.
14. green tea—protects the heart from the oxidative damage and buildup of plaque. The EGCG is the antioxidant. Green tea may prevent high blood pressure and lower blood sugar.
15. dark chocolate—70% or greater of cocoa. Provides antioxidants, and rich in phenols to counter artery clogging of plaque.
16. Tahitian Noni Juice n-Core--is blended with raspberry, apple, blueberry, grape, and black current juices for immune system support, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and has been shown to reduce plaque in arteries for heart health.
A reminder to always keep your body well hydrated. Adequate water consumption will help you to feel less tired and have more energy.
Building heart health recipes for nutritional healing is an ongoing and challenging journey. I am continuing to learn more and applying the information for better health. I am honored to be able to share this information with everyone.
a. Dr. Andrew Weil, “Eating Well For Optimum Health”
b.“Your Body Can Heal Itself” by FC and A Medical Publishing
c.“Healing Your Heart” from Meriter Heart Hospital
d. Research Park Integrative Medicine
e. “The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia”
Dr. Weil's Food Pyramid